There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. (1 John 4:18)
Years ago on a Sunday morning, Joseph Ton was arrested. The following day, the interrogations began. Around midday, a general came in who ordered the other two officers to leave the room. When they were gone, he started to hit Joseph. On the face, on the head - until he was exhausted.
A few days later, the same thing happened again. The officers had to leave the room and Joseph expected another beating. But the general sat down and said he wanted to talk to him. Joseph said, "I would like to offer my apologies first." The general looked at him in amazement. After all, he had hit Joseph and not the other way round. Joseph said he had done some thinking about the beating. "I realized that this week, we commemorate the Passion," he said, "I am sorry I cried out when you hit me, for there is nothing more wonderful for a Christian than to suffer like his Lord suffered. Actually, you gave me the most precious gift I have ever received. Thank you very much!" Joseph also told the general that he had started praying for him and his family.
The general was so impressed that he promptly apologized. Later he would play an important role in Joseph's release. He had seen what he had never seen before - someone who told him he prayed for him and his family. There is no fear in love. The Lord sets us free and gives us love in our hearts for our enemies. We ourselves are blessed by it - and others are as well. And God is given the glory.
Joseph Ton from Romania. Joseph Ton describes a number of spiritual principles of God's faithfulness despite suffering. Edited with permission from the Dutch booklet entitled Lessen in Lijden.
Copyright [C] 1995 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
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Day by Day with the Persecuted Church
compiled by Jan Pit with a forward by Brother Andrew (paperback, revised 2000)
Compelling wisdom from the pen of actual believers living amidst persecution, you'll be connected to the suffering, courage, and depth of life that exists in the harshest places in the world. Each of these 365 thought-provoking devotions will deepen your understanding of Christian persecution and provoke you to pray for our brothers and sisters with a new found depth.